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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Posted on: 09/09/2022

The #TeamBlenheim community paid its respects to Her Majesty through a series of year group assemblies this morning. The speech below was delivered to all students and captures the essence of why this Queen was so important to so many of us. The Union and Blenheim flags will remain at half mast for the ten days of mourning. Parents/carers will be advised if there is to be any impact on the school's daily operations as further information becomes available.

This is one of the saddest and momentous turning points in the history of the United Kingdom. There is nobody in this country or the world who hasn't lived their lives under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. For 70 years she served our country with outstanding dedicated duty. We struggle to imagine a United Kingdom without this Queen. But now we have to imagine it because the moment we have been dreading has finally come. Yesterday everything changed. Her death is an enormous blow not just to the British people but to our national psyche.

To people around the world who might not understand our deep affinity to this Queen it is as simple as this. Our monarchy and Her Majesty are the very essence of being British. As Abraham Lincoln and the Constitution are to being American, so the Royal family is to the U.K. More than an institution it is an identity, it is who we are. It is the Magna Carta, the Palace of Westminster, the Battle of Waterloo, it's Austen, Dickens, Shakespeare, the Beatles. It is crushing the Nazi's, its Churchill and the Blitz spirit. It is Royal Ascot, the Epsom Derby and the Chelsea Flower Show, Cricket at Lord's, Tennis at Wimbledon, Football at Wembley and most recently, Tea with Paddington Bear at Buckingham Palace. Nothing and nobody has symbolised what it means to be British better than Queen Elizabeth II.

She has always been there. She had an aura of invincibility that sadly yesterday was shattered, and now we have to learn as a country to live without her. Whatever anyone's views are of the Royal Family, wherever anyone lives in the world they will remember yesterday because it was history unfolding before our eyes. This remarkable lady was not just our longest serving Monarch she was the second longest reigning monarch in the whole of history. She appointed 15 Prime Ministers, she hosted 13 of the last 14 U.S. Presidents, she was, amazingly, our Queen for 30% of America's entire history. She held more than 100 state visits for the world's leaders. She was the Head of State herself in 17 countries. She was the Head of the Commonwealth and she guided us all through the best and worst times. Through wars, terrorism, pandemics, natural disasters, financial crisis. Whatever it was she was there with dignity, duty, stoicism and that famous stiff upper lip!

Her final act on Tuesday was to appoint our new Prime Minister. Remarkably, staggeringly she was dutiful until the very, very end. We should all be very glad and very grateful that we have all had the chance to say thank you at her Platinum Jubilee celebrations this Summer and she was able to see just how much she meant to us. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II demonstrated the very best of our British values; Democracy, the rule of law, mutual respect, liberty and tolerance. She demonstrated those values to the world. She was our greatest of Britons.

When Her Majesty died yesterday at Balmoral, a little piece of us all sadly died as well.

Silver School Mental Health Award